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Nearly half a million babies (1 in 10) are born premature in the US each year which is higher than that of most other developed nations. This is the journeys of our first born son, Finnegan, who was born 14 weeks early and weighed only 1 pound 15 ounces at birth. Of our daugher, Korrigan, who was born a healthy 7 pounds, 7 ounces at 37 weeks. And of our second son, MacKeegan, who was also born at 37 weeks at a whopping 8 pounds, 13 ounces. Our continued adventures reminds us daily how good God is.

Sunday, July 31

Fishing with daddy

Friday night, the four of us went to a work party for Jim's work at his coworker's house. She happens to live on a lake, so Finn and Jim got to go fishing from the end of her dock. Their bate? Marshmallows of course!
(for the record, no fish did in fact, bite!)

Korri is SIX MONTHS old (as of yesterday!). My, how time flies. I'm hoping that the next 6 months are a little easier, but just as rewarding. She has officially found her toes! She loves them and plays with them all the time. She is rolling over from tummy to back fairly often, but has yet to go from back to tummy. Part of this is probably due to the fact that she doesn't lay on her back too often. She gets about 5/6th's of the way over and then rolls back over to her back! She will get it soon, I have no doubt. She also has interest in sitting and can do it with assistance, but is by no means sitting as of yet. I don't think it will be too long until that happens, either. She is growing up so quickly! She loves her brother the most in the whole world and thinks he is the funniest, most entertaining person to ever live. She is definitely teething, which makes for some tough times, but the colic seems to be much better. Now if only she wouldn't fight going to bed EVERY time she has to go to sleep. Argh. It is really tough, but I'm really hoping she out grows this phase...and soon!

Last night, aunt Kelsie came over to watch the kids so Jim and I could go OUT! Yes, out, as in out to dinner on a date! We met Ryan and Leah at Tommy Chicago's for Ryan's birthday. Their pizza was really good (not Giordano's, but not bad for MN), but I think I'm still full. Yikes! Thanks, Kels, for watching the kids. It was really nice to get out sans kids.

Thursday, July 28

Smith Lake Girls' Weekend

Last weekend, Korri and I got away for the second annual Smith Lake girls' weekend. We picked Stacey up on Friday around 3pm and headed up to the Osakis/Alexandria area (Stacey's mom, Connie was already there). Korri did okay on the ride there, except for the last twenty minutes or so. Connie and Stacey graciously gave us the bedroom, which worked out well. Here was Korri's bed for the weekend.
A little tight, but it worked out great. She even managed to roll over! Connie's coworker joined us on Saturday and we went into Alexandria to check out all the local haunts, including Big Ole. We had a shopping spree at Maurice's and I got my first pair of Silvers jeans. So excited to have a reason to wear jeans now :)

Sunday, Korri went on her first boat ride!

She fell asleep sitting up once we got going. I guess you can tell why sitting up wasn't a problem since the life jacket kept her pretty stiff. After the boat ride, Korri and I headed home. It was a wonderful weekend and very relaxing. Now I'll have to decide if Korri gets to come along next year or not. Hmmm...we'll have to see if she is sleeping better by then or not!

Wednesday, July 27

Belly laughing

I don't even know where to start since it has been so long since I've blogged. Oops. I just don't get as much time on the computer as I used to...can't imagine why!
Here is a video of Korri laughing. She started belly laughing a while ago, but I wasn't able to get it on video because she would stop every time I brought out the camera! I could listen to her laughing all day long (much better than her screaming!!).

Monday, July 18

Alexander the Great

We (minus Korri) got to meet Baby Boy Gredzens yesterday afternoon! Finn wasn't allowed in the NICU, but could look at him through the window. Side note: the Maple Grove hospital is ridiculously fabulous!
Baby is so stinkin' sweet and made the cutest faces. He seems to be pretty easy to calm down, which is a huge blessing and hopefully continues. He is a really big eater, too, which is really great. And they picked a name! I wasn't allowed to post until Kristine posted it on Facebook, which she just did. Alexander Janis Gredzens but he will be called Zander.
I just love it. It is amazing how quickly and easily it is to fall in love with somebody. I have a feeling Zander will want for nothing! This morning, Finn asked where Baby Zander was, "at auntie Kristine's house?" Nope, not yet buddy, but it sounds like Kristine is being discharged today and Zander could come home as soon as tomorrow! He is one amazing miracle.

I got the privilege of driving the newlyweds to the airport this morning at 5:15am. It was hard to leave them there because if Becky had packed less, I might have tried to fit in her suitcase. I'm so freakin' happy for them. Becky had on a super cute tank top that said, "Just married!" I love it. They don't come back until Tuesday, so I really hope they are able to relax and enjoy themselves after all the stress of planning such a big event.

Man, after all this excitement, what are we going to do with ourselves?!?! Stay inside and try to stay cool, I guess. The highest heat index I saw here in Mpls today was 109 degrees with the humidity levels in the upper 70's. Crazy.

Sunday, July 17

Mrs. Ross and Mr. Gredzens

Yesterday was wonderfully perfect. Becky (and Pete!) did such a great job planning and organizing that everything went very smoothly. I can't believe my little sister is married and her name is now Rebecca Ross!! I really like the sound of that. Now there is just one Walsh girl left...hmmm...
Becky was by far, one of the most beautiful brides I have ever seen. I was very happy that both Finn and Korri made it down the isle without crying, even if Finn threw the ring bearer pillow at the alter once he got to the front! I'm so happy to have Pete part of the family. Now they get to enjoy a week in Maui...totally jealous. Jim said we should go crash their honeymoon. Hmm...don't think that would be appreciated ;)

Kristine and baby are doing well. Here is a pic from yesterday:
This was Kristine's facebook post from this morning (for those of you who don't have FB): "He is in the NICU and doing great. His breathing and eating are strong. He has an IV and warmer because his blood sugar and temp are occasionally a little low, but nothing serious. I didn't get to see him until Sat morning, and then saw that he was perfect. I've been totally exhausted so kept visitors away so far, but looking forward to a big day today. No name yet, but we're hoping to decide today."

We have yet to see Kristine and meet little Mr. Gredzens, but will be leaving shortly to go up to the hospital to do just that. Can't wait! Jim said he looks like Alex...I think I agree. I'll have to see for myself, though. So excited :)

What a crazy few days for our family. Talk about some major life changing events all at once. Kristine was definitely missed yesterday, but was there in spirit for sure. I took as much video as I remembered to, so hopefully she will get a sense of being there when she watches it.

Saturday, July 16

He's here!

Nothing like doing it all in two days! Kristine went into labor yesterday morning and after laboring pretty much all day, gave birth at 6:30pm via c-section to a...boy! I have a new nephew (totally thought she was having a girl!). I'm so excited for Kristine and Alex and can't wait to meet him (although that will have to wait until!). He doesn't have a name yet, but I'm thinking that will be announced some time today. He was 5 lbs 10 oz, 17.5 in., which is pretty good sized, considering he was 5 weeks early. As of last night, both mom and baby are doing well.

And today is the BIG wedding day! Becky and Pete are getting married today! I am so excited for them, too. Too much excitement to handle (I hope both Becky and Kristine were able to sleep last night!). I'll be leaving shortly to meet the girls to get our hair done, which will be a lot of fun. Lynn is coming over to help Jim with the kids and they will meet us at the church later. It will be a long, busy day...but should be TONS of fun, too. I just hope Finn decides to be agreeable, because he was NOT for rehearsal last night. Maybe once he gets his tuxedo on, he will transform into a super good boy who listens ;) Better start getting ready!!

Friday, July 15

T minus one day!

Tomorrow is the BIG day! I can't believe my little sister will have a new last name tomorrow. I could not be happier for her and am so looking forward to all the festivities.

Last night, we all went over to aunt Kelsie's for dinner and to watch the Maple Grove parade. We all has such a great time. Austin came along and was so funny. He kept waving at the different royalty and saying, "Hi pretty girls," "Hi Princess!" and then started blowing kisses at them! I seriously love that kid. The parade was pretty long, so we didn't head home until after 9pm, but all three kids were on their best behavior. I just love festivals like that. Makes me feel "small" town in the big city. Thanks for a great time, Kels. Korri was over tired and screamed the entire way home, even though we were shouting out songs the whole way. Jim gave her an ounce of formula and she was OUT.

Thursday, July 14

Mommy time

Or maybe I should say, "Stacy time!" With Lynn being here this week, I've been able to get out and have a little freedom. Monday, I was able to go to Costco sans kids, which was great (considering Korri takes up the whole basket part of the cart and doesn't leave room for the things I'm buying!). However, their stupid coupons weren't valid until today (which I didn't realize until I was done shopping!), so I will be heading back there to get the rest of the stuff. Monday night, Becky and I went to a jewelry party at Leah's house. It was so much fun to get out and have a girls' night and a couple glasses of wine. I'm not a jewelry person, but the stuff was beautiful. Maybe some day I'll get more adventurous, but I'm the kind of person who wears the same things every day. Oh, well. Thanks for coming along, Becky!

Yesterday, Kelsie treated me to a pedicure! It was FABULOUS! It had been a really long time since I got one and now my feet will be cute for the wedding this weekend. It was very relaxing and much needed since I've been struggling with a migraine since Tuesday. Thanks, Kelsie!!

Then last night we grilled at our house with Kelsie, Lynn, Pete, Becky and Austin! I love having people over and just hanging out. Now we are gearing up for the wedding this weekend. I can't wait. It will be so much fun.

Tuesday, July 12

Back on track

Jim, Korri and I went to Korri's doctor appointment this afternoon while Memere stayed home with Finn (thank you very much!!). K gained almost one pound in less than two weeks! She now weighs 13 lbs 5 oz and is back on her growth curve (which is still really small, but I'll take it)! I guess supplementing with formula is agreeing with her. Basically, we are to keep doing what we're doing and we don't need to go back in until her 6 month well-child appt in Aug. Such great news! Finally, good news at the doctor's office.

I also talked to her about Finn's height (we weren't able to talk about it at his appt two weeks ago) and she said that we will start looking at his thyroid and hormone levels at his 3 year well-child appt, but we don't need to do anything in the meantime. So, that is good news, too. Hey, maybe he'll catch up between now and then and we won't have to do anything at all!

Finn and Korri are having the time of their life this week since Memere is here visiting. It is always nice to have help around the house and with the kids. I've been feeling a lot better lately. I'm sure it is a combination of a lot of things, but like I told the pediatrician today, at least now I want to keep Korri! I still have bad moments and get overwhelmed, but they seem to be less often. Hopefully things stay on this trajectory and continue to improve.

Wednesday, July 6

Let go and let God

When I was younger, I went to a christian retreat and the "theme" was "Let go and let God." With that in the front of my mind, I've decided that I'm okay if Korri stops nursing. I clearly don't have enough for her (or at least enough fat) to gain weight and she has really taken to the special formula, Alimentum, so going forward, if she nurses, she nurses and if she doesn't, she doesn't. I'm sad that she will be finished breast feeding shortly, but also thankful I was able to for as long as we did. The upside for bottles is the freedom it gives me.

We heard back from Korri's ped about her test results. The brain ultrasound showed everything was normal, which is so good. The milk scan showed that Korri does have acid reflux, but nothing that was severe. So, we will stay on the prevacid and special formula at least until our appt next week. Both Jim and I think Korri has gained weight and seems to be filling out a bit. Maybe Finn is giving her his belly drum!

Tuesday, July 5

Steals the show

Yesterday, we went to the beach with Becky, Pete and Austin. It was wonderful summer weather, but with a baby, it got a little got. We stayed for about an hour and then headed home to cool off and for naps. Finn LOVED swimming in the lake and kept splashing whoever was swimming with him. Becky dipped Korri's feet into the water and she LOVED it. The sad thing, this was the first time we'd been swimming all summer. Hopefully the weather allows for more of it.

Afterward, we all went back to our house to hang out, grill, swim, nap (F and K) and play bags. It was a perfect day and evening, especially when auntie NaeNae joined us. We didn't get to go see any fire works, but Pete had a few fun ones for the kiddos...although I don't think Finn really liked them. Maybe next year. Austin got to have a sleep over at our house and surprise Finn when he woke up, which was pretty funny.

This afternoon Finn, Korri, Austin, Becky and I picked auntie Kristine up (yes, we all fit in the Pacifica...barely!) and went to Janice's for our final dress fittings. Kristine and mine looked great...but Korri will for sure steal the show! I hope Becky is okay with that. She looks so freaking cute in her dress! What a great job, Janice :)

Korri is full on doing belly laughs now! Both Jim and I noticed it today. Maybe she just does it now because she seems to be happier, I don't know. It probably helped that she slept for over EIGHT hours straight last night! (we woke up before she did to see if she was okay!) Hopefully I can get it on video soon. Nothing cuter than a baby laughing!

Monday, July 4

Queen's feast

Happy birthday, America! Take a moment today to appreciate this wonderful country we live in. We truly are blessed. And thank you to all the men and women who gave us and continue to give us our freedom.

Yesterday, the four of us braved a trip to Costco when the world ended at our house because we ran out of...paper towels! And you know what? It wasn't even crazy busy. We were shocked. In and out, no problem. Then we headed over to auntie Kristine's for a family dinner since Grandpa Egg was in town for his pre-wedding hair cut. Alex smoked/grilled ribs and chicken, which were amazing. Both kids were exhausted by the time we left. Finn and I do this thing when we turn the corner by our house, I say, "We're..." And Finn responds, "Home!" So I did it last night, fully expecting him to be sleeping and he answered me! It was actually a little creepy, but Jim and I busted out laughing.

Korri had her first taste of baby rice cereal yesterday! I'd bought some a week ago or so, but we hadn't sat down to try it.
She did really well and ate all that we made...well, minus the two tastes that Finn wanted and all that ended up on her and the bib! I have video, but can't get the program to work to edit it right now :(
As you can see, she does really well in her Bumbo chair, too. We need to be better about having her sit up right a little bit every day. I think she likes the vantage point!

Sunday, July 3

Belly drum

I know it has only been three days, but I do think that Korri seems to feel better and therefore is in a better mood. She doesn't mind sitting in her bouncy seat for a bit at a time, which is a great relief. Jim has been "super dad" the last few days and that takes a lot of pressure and responsibility off me. I'm just trying to take it hour by hour so I don't get overwhelmed, but I have noticed I've felt better, too. So, things seem to be looking up (finally!). Now, if she could just figure out how to self-sooth a little bit...

Friday, Stacey and Dillon came over to swim and for dinner. It was a really nice evening, even though we almost got caught in the storm! It went from calm and cloudy to stormy and terrible within one minute! We grabbed what we could and ran inside. It was so windy, Finn honestly couldn't walk into the wind. I had to grab his hand to keep him going forward! For all it's fury, it blew through pretty quickly with nothing major at our house. I think Dillon was a little disappointed because he really wanted to see a tornado!

Saturday, we had a relaxing day at home and spent a ton of time outside in the B-E-A-U-tiful weather! Then Sam came over and brought steaks. Yum! After the kids went to bed, we even had our first bonfire of the season. Man, the weather was perfect for a fire. It was a really great evening.

I think Finn is "losing" his belly drum! I don't know if that means he is getting taller or if he is burning more calories (or a combination of both, probably!), but it makes me kind of sad. He has had his belly since he was born. It comes back when he eats a lot, so I guess I'll just have to keep him well fed! Ha, ha.

Friday, July 1

Baby Einstein saves the day

I will attempt to sum up the doctor appts from Wed afternoon. First, the good news...Finn is doing great! His weight (29.1 lbs) was just under the 50th percentile for his ACTUAL age! That made me so happy. They didn't measure his height until the very end of the appt and didn't tell me what it was or the percentile (we did it ourselves, and think he is right around 33"). I will ask the dr when we go back in. And, he can now switch to skim milk! wasn't a big deal, but buying two kinds of milk was a little bit of a drag, so now he can drink ours.

Why are we going back in you ask? Well, Korri is not gaining enough weight (12 lbs. 2 oz) and the Dr. wants to start ruling things out as to why she is still so fussy. She has fallen below her already shallow growth curve, so Dr. wants to keep an eye on it and try a few things. First, we are supplementing with a specialized formula that already has the protein processed (to hopefully help her tummy feel better) and man, does it stink! She has taken to it over the last couple days and seems to not have a problem switching back and forth between the breast and bottle (fingers crossed). We also decided to just pay for the prevacid out of pocket and if it works, then we'll "fight" with the insurance to get them to pay for it. She just started it yesterday, so hard to say it's effect yet. Another change is that Jim will now be giving her a bottle for one of her night time feedings in order for me to get a longer stretch of sleep at one time (apparently I'm sleep deprived!). I'm sure I'm forgetting a ton, but I was SO thankful that NeNe was able to leave work early to join us there (since Jim was traveling). I can't even begin to express how great it was to have her there (and it helps that she is a nurse!).

The dr was very concerned about me and even called both Jim and me later in the evening to make sure things were good and that I was getting enough help. Fortunately, aunt Kelsie was already going to come over Thurs AM, so she agreed to come Wed evening and stay over night to do one of K's night time feedings. I didn't wake up Wed night until 5:30am, when my boobs told me it was time for K to eat! Upon K's dr's strong recommendation, I started Zoloft yesterday. I know it takes a bit to take effect, but I'm very hopeful. I also went to a counselor yesterday AM (thanks, Kels for watching the kids!), so hopefully I/we are doing enough things to make some changes for the better in our lives. And K "turned" five months old yesterday! Hard to believe.

I don't know if it's just wishful thinking, but I think K has been less fussy yesterday and so far today (other than the fact that she wouldn't go to bed last night...aunt Kelsie saved the day yet again in addition to all the help she gave yesterday!). In order to start ruling out some bigger issues, aunt Kristine met K and I at Children's hospital this morning for a brain ultrasound (for Korri, not Kristine!) and a milk scan. Yes, Kristine is still on bed rest, but what better place to be if you aren't at home?!?! (side note: hooray for 33 weeks today!) The ultrasound will help us know if she has some neurological problems. The milk scan will tell us if she has acid reflux and how her stomach processes milk. K's dr should receive the results by mid week next week and we go back in for a visit in a week and a half. Thank you to auntie Kristine for meeting us there and the support.
It was nice to have somebody to chat with during the procedure...for which K did amazing. She had to drink special formula (we couldn't get more than an ounce in her!) and then lay strapped down to the table for an HOUR...and she only cried for the last five minutes. The tech put on a Baby Einstein dvd, which she LOVED! Who knew?!?! Maybe I'll have to pick one up.